When John Kerry was confirmed as Secretary of State last week his first promise was to bring “new ideas” to the job. Particularly, he promised a new approach to the two-year long civil war in Syria. He immediately set out on a “listening tour” of Europe and the Middle East, presumably to help formulate those new ideas.
So what was Kerry’s big “new idea” on Syria? Drag the United States further into the conflict by promising to send the rebels an additional $60 million in aid. Only among the Washington foreign policy establishment could a promise to redouble efforts on an old idea be repackaged as a “new idea.” New ideas, old ideas, new approaches, improved approaches – they always seem to be the same thing: calls for more US intervention in conflicts thousands of miles away that have nothing to do with us.
The Kerry plan is to overtly provide more medical and food aid to armed insurgents seeking to overthrow the Syrian government. In directly assisting rebels with material that will help them fight more effectively, the US is signaling its new role as an open participant in the conflict. Can US weapons and troops be too far behind? The administration hopes that none of the aid it provides to US-backed rebels falls into the hands of other groups like the radical Islamist al-Nusra Front, which the US has designated a terrorist group. Yet according to press reports there is little separation on the ground between the various groups. It seems unreasonable to believe that assistance provided to one group will not wind up in the hands of another group.
Both Iraq and Libya have turned out to be far more radical and dangerous after their “liberation” that was supposed to usher in governments friendly to the United States. Does it make any sense to believe that Syria will be any different?
Kerry’s new ideas are actually old ideas, and they have over and over been proven to be bad ideas. Just as President Obama has shown that his foreign policy is more aggressive and warmongering than that of his predecessor, the new more “moderate” secretary of state shows us that he has every intention of furthering the notion that diplomacy flows from the barrel of a gun. Our interventionist foreign policy is bankrupting the country and turning the world against us. It must come to an end.